The Challenge of Communication
Have you noticed we are living in a new age?
It’s an age of radically different forms of communication. Not just different
forms of technology, like internet, wireless, texting, email, but we now have
different ways of connecting with one another.
The radical difference is that dialogue is now much shorter, more
spontaneous and far more general. We talk using acronyms and shorthand,
hoping that the recipient knows the same lingo.
People now express their thoughts to the whole world by making comments
on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a host of other platforms that can be
viewed by millions all over the world. This means that we will never know
who we are actually talking to or who is reading our comments.
Responsive comments to other people’s pictures, and Twitter posts tend to be
short, one or two lines frequently never attracting any further response from
Language is Changing
But language has also changed. Comments are now far less carefully thought
about, frequently being rude, abusive, curt, nasty, and in many cases,
In short, all protocols are rapidly disappearing. Grammar is no longer
Tact and diplomacy are losing ground to an
increasing trend to say what we think
regardless of how appropriate it might be or
whether it is inflammatory, hurtful or even
People’s comments are frequently taken out of context, and not given careful
consideration before irrational responses are made.
What does this mean for Relationships?
People can now be very easily isolated by their points of view, their personal
values, long held principles, or even just their thoughts. It’s reached the point
where it’s often safer to say nothing.
Consequently, many people are no longer being heard, or able to have their
opinions carefully considered. Perhaps for total strangers, that may be less
significant. But when it comes to personal relationships, the same thing is
happening, and the outcome is far more significant.
Counsellors talk every day with couples who are falling apart, most frequently
because they have lost their abilities to talk effectively with one another.
A frequent response when couples are asked by a
counsellor why they are here today, is, “We are not
good at communicating”.
There’s a lot hidden behind that response. Strange how they could
communicate quite effectively when they were going out together, but not
now. We wonder what’s changed.
We need to learn to reconnect via
But dialogue seems to be an illusive goal today. In fact, there’s a step that
needs to happen before we even begin to get our message across
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